Taeyong feels it in his bones. He swear he literally feels Jaehyun’s gaze on him, burning holes in his back, almost daring him to turn. It’s hard to resist; Taeyong has to use all of his willpower to not turn and see how exactly Jaehyun is looking at him. He wants to see that fire in alpha’s eyes, but instead he smiles wider to this young man in front of him whose name omega doesn’t even remember. He’s a head of some department in a company that decided to become their clients and Johnny asked Taeyong to come to this dinner/after-party and make connections. In Taeyong’s mind he pictured a simple dinner in a small circle and that couldn’t be further from reality; there were at least fifty people in the restaurant, all business-partners from different firms and scale of the event was way too high for Taeyong to be here. Another thing that surprised him was Jaehyun’s presence - alpha did mention that tonight he’ll have to attend some after-party to mingle with some people, but Taeyong never thought that they’re going to end up on the same event. Lee will first kill Johnny for not giving him a full information and then will probably have to kill this young man, who’s staring at him like he wants to have Taeyong under him right now. Which is, in all honesty, disgusting. Taeyong knows very well how important this guy is - god what was his name again? - but he just can’t seem to somehow move conversation towards business instead of personal matters. When he came in, he saw Jaehyun and his alpha saw him also; he looked surprised, but they both nodded at each other - mutual silent agreement to now show that they’re connected, it’s a business event after all. But now Taeyong regrets this decision, because this man and his advances become crystal clear and that wouldn’t have happened if Jaehyun and Taeyong would have shown from the beginning that they are together. Now Taeyong has to tolerate not so subtle flirtation and try to find ways of turning conversation around.
‘Taeyong, I think we can take this elsewhere,’ man says, smiling. ‘It’s too loud here, don’t you think so?’
Taeyong has a hard time catching up when exactly he gave permission to call him ‘Taeyong’ instead of ‘Mr.Lee’ and then he’s thinking if he ever gave any sign that he might be interested in a suggestion of this sort. His brain tries to come up with the most polite ways to reject or with an excuse that won’t sound horribly fake when he feels it. Jaehyun’s scent growing stronger, meaning alpha is either coming close right to them or in generally moved closer to Taeyong.
‘I think…’ Taeyong starts and then dares to quickly look around. His eyes immediately find his alpha, who’s standing five steps away from them, quietly conversing with another man. Taeyong, despite knowing that this will attract attention, still calls him over rather loudly: ‘Jaehyun!’
Jaehyun’s eyes snap at him instantly and it takes him two seconds before he’s coming to Taeyong with purposeful strides, arm immediately setting on omega’s waist. Taeyong called him by his name instead of ‘Mr.Jung’ on purpose - it’s a small signal that he needs alpha to interfere and that it’s okay to let everyone know that they’re together. Jaehyun jumps on this opportunity readily, pulling his mate closer to his side, making omega sigh discreetly in relief.
‘I don’t think we’ve met,’ Jaehyun says, handing his hand to the man in front of him. ‘Jung Jaehyun, National sales manager in SC.’
‘Kim Heechul, Topline financial controller in A&P.’ Heechul’s eyes stay on Jaehyun’s arm around Taeyong’s waist. ‘Nice to meet you.’
‘I see you’ve met Mr.Lee,’ Jaehyun says and smiles at Taeyong. ‘Have you gotten anywhere with your discussions? Taeyong did a great presentation of what their company can offer to yours, I’m sure.’
Jaehyun didn’t show any negative emotions, but tone of his voice made it clear that he is not pleased. His scent, usually controlled and barely there, now became more potent. Heechul is far from stupid and he takes a step back, hands behind his back. He makes vague comments as he can’t say anything clear - they didn’t discuss a thing anyway. Jaehyun sees through the load of bullshit, narrows his eyes and his grip on Taeyong’s waist tightens.
‘Well, I believe what you didn’t manage to discuss tonight, you’ll be able to do so once you actually start working.’ Jaehyun smiles but it lacks any friendliness. ‘I can vouch for their company, you shouldn’t have to worry about their professionalism even if they’re new on the field.’
Taeyong tries to hide his smile but doesn’t really succeed at it. Heechul nods, politely wraps up the talk and salutes Taeyong, bowing a little. Once they’re left alone, Taeyong hesitantly looks up, checking alpha’s face. Jaehyun looks down and tries to smile, but it’s a tightlipped one.
‘Was he bothering you for long?’ He asks quietly, mindful of many people here.
‘I called you after he suggested to go somewhere else,’ Taeyong honestly answers. ‘Tried to sway him to talk about business, but he was very adamant in his flirting with me.’ Omega sees how his mate immediately frowns at that and tries to change the theme: ‘I will probably go home now. Will you stay for long?’
‘I’m going home with you.’ Jaehyun says and it leaves no room for argument.
Taeyong waits for his mate to bid his goodbyes to everyone. He feels weird, knows that something is going to come up out of this little incident. Jaehyun acts normally, but his scent gives everything away - it’s acid, too strong for Taeyong to breathe comfortably in a closed space of the car. He doesn’t dare to voice his thoughts, cause fighting with Jaehyun is the last thing he wants to do now. Alpha suddenly turns and Taeyong realizes that they’re going not to his apartment in the center, but to the house of his grandparents.
‘Jaehyun..’ He calls uncertainly. ‘Why are we-’
‘Do you mind?’ Alpha asks through gritted teeth, not looking at him.
‘No,’ Taeyong answers. It doesn’t really matter to him where to be. ‘Just surprised.’
Rest of the drive omega tries not to fidget, to guess alpha’s mood. Jaehyun can rarely be seen like that and Taeyong learned his limits, knows where he needs to stop in order not to push Jaehyun over the edge when eh acts bratty, but this is different. Something is simmering deep inside, ready to burst on the surface. Like a time bomb - ready to blow out when last second ticks away. Jaehyun doesn’t show any signs of anger but once they step out and go to the house, Taeyong winces at the tightest grip on his wrist - it’s going to bruise, no doubts. Alpha leads him to the bedroom, closes door loudly and only then lets go of Taeyong’s wrist, making omega wince.
‘I don’t understand why you’re mad,’ Lee mutters. He knows that right now it’s better not to talk, but he can’t help it - this tense silence is killing him. ‘I’ve done nothing to somehow provoke-’
‘I’m not mad at you,’ Jaehyun cuts him off, pinching his nose bridge with a pained expression. ‘I know that you didn’t want any of his attention.’
Something akin to relief settles inside Taeyong. He likes to rile his alpha up, push his buttons by mentioning other guys from the past, but he never would actually go and flirt with someone in front of Jaehyun just to tease him, just for the fun or some game. Omega feared that maybe this is what his mate thought, that he did everything on purpose to get a rise from him and he’s relieved to learn that Jaehyun knows him well enough to be sure that he’ll never do something like that. Taeyong takes a tentative step closer, grabbing Jaehyun’s hands in his. If this is not it then what’s the matter?
‘Why are you mad then?’ He asks, soothingly caressing his skin with thumbs. ‘If not at me then-’
Alpha’s next action is so sudden that Taeyong barely has time to react. He lets out a surprised gasp when Jaehyun quickly turns them around, pining Taeyong to the wall. They’re close, alpha’s body covering his and all omega can do is blink owlishly at the sudden change. He almost opens his mouth to ask what the hell, but Jaehyun’s gaze stops him. Alpha’s eyes are trained on his face, tense and closed off, unable for Taeyong to read.
‘I’m mad,’ Jaehyun starts, caging Taeyong with his hands on each side of his head, ‘I’m mad, baby, because I saw the way he looked at you. Like he thought that he could have you. All because…’ Jaehyun’s eyes drift lower to Taeyong’s skin. His hand drops to omega’s shoulder and goes up, his thumb caressing place where Taeyong’s scent glands are. ‘All because he thought that you’re not taken. Because you’re not marked.’
Taeyong’s scared to breathe. In the silent room he’s sure Jaehyun can hear his erratic heartbeat, his thrumming pulse. He doesn’t dare to move, shivers when alpha applies a bit more pressure on his scent glands. He senses determination and something dark lurking in Jaehyun, something that wasn’t shown to Taeyong at all and it’s his first time experiencing it. His mate looks at the place where usually mating marks are given and Taeyong bites his tongue in order not to whimper. He doesn’t let himself get ahead, doesn’t want to get his hopes up but god it’s hard not to do so, when Jaehyun’s staring like he’s finally going to fully claim Taeyong as his. And Taeyong can’t help but get excited at this prospect because that’s all he wants, wanted for a long time now - to have Jaehyun’s mark on him. It gives certain security cause no one approaches mated omegas, but that’s not exactly why Taeyong wants it, although he can easily admit that this point is also very important. He wants this mark because it’s the equivalent of marriage for him, just a more meaningful one. Marriage is on the papers, but mark is on his skin, on him, where he can feel it and touch it and remind himself every day that he and Jaehyun are serious about each other, that this is for good, for forever. And Taeyong long ago have decided that ‘forever’ can be used in the same sentence only with Jaehyun for him. Alpha looks him in the eyes and Taeyong knows he can read him like an open book, knows that he can see everything in Taeyong’s expression.
‘You want it?’ Jaehyun rasps, finger trailing lightly on omega’s neck. ‘My mark? On you?’
Taeyong swallows. ‘You know that I do.’ He licks his lips, trying to sound sure: ‘It’s you who’s holding back.’
That’s true. Taeyong raised this topic month ago, seriously saying that he’s ready for the mark. Jaehyun shook his head at that time, saying that he better think twice. It hurt omega, but he tried not to let it show; Jaehyun has his reasons to be cautious after everything what happened with Chenle (when he was told this story Taeyong almost wanted to laugh from how ridiculous and ‘out from the movies’ it sounded. But it was real and omega’s heart was broken for his mate).
‘You can’t get rid of it,’ Jaehyun says quietly, gaze intense. ‘Taeyong, this is for life. This mark is for forever.’
Taeyong lifts his head, meeting Jaehyun’s gaze straight on. ‘And again - it’s you who’s holding back.’
Taeyong is sure in Jaehyun, but the notion that alpha may not be sure in him makes tears prickle in his eyes. He has been rejected before but this is different; this doesn’t just sting or make him sad. This rejection from Jaehyun will destroy Taeyong inside. He tries to not let it show, to act brave, but when alpha doesn’t reply all his insecurities overflow:
‘But if you’re not sure, if you don’t want me-’ He tries to move away, but Jaehyun grabs his shoulders and only pushes him harder into the wall, towering over him.
‘Don’t want you?’ He repeats, incredulous. ‘Taeyong, you- I..’ Jaehyun is loss of words and Taeyong could have joked that there is the first time for everything, but his mouth refuses to make any sound, when alpha looks at him like that. ‘How can you even think that I don’t want you?!’
‘What else do you want me to think?’ Taeyong snaps, trying to push alpha away but his mate stands like an unmoving rock. ‘I basically asked you to claim me month ago and you refused. What else is there to think if not that you don’t want me? That you’re not sure in me?’
Taeyong can’t help it - he lets bitterness overtake him. His pride is hurt but his heart is hurt worse and instead of sounding angry, he just sounds dejected and sad. Which is awful. Last thing he wants to do is to show how affected he is by all of this, but it’s hard to keep his emotions in check when it comes to Jaehyun. Alpha stares at him with wide eyes and then cradles his face so gently in his palms that Taeyong wants to cry. He can’t stand tenderness when he knows it’s going to lead to rejection - better do it harshly than first make his heart leap out of his chest with love.
‘Sweetheart,’ Jaehyun calls and this affectionate nickname sends a pang into omega’s heart. ‘Baby, Taeyong, look at me. Look me in the eyes.’ Taeyong braces himself and does as he was told. ‘I didn’t want you to rush. I didn’t think that you would- I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I made you think like you’re unwanted.’ Jaehyun gingerly leans in and places his lips on Taeyong’s forehead, slowly going down. ‘You’re all I want, Taeyong.’
Omega’s eyes flutter shut and he takes a deep breath, when Jaehyun’s lips stop at his cheek. He doesn’t want to sound hopeful but his voice cracks anyway: ‘Really?’
It comes out so childlike, so hopeful that Jaehyun’s heart bleeds with love for this omega. He presses his lips everywhere he can on Taeyong’s face and then goes lower, stopping at his neck. ‘You’re a dream come true, Taeyong.’ He says, hearing omega’s breath hitch at this. Jaehyun kisses column of his neck and stops at the juncture where neck meets the shoulder. Where Taeyong’s scent glands are, where bite mark is supposed to be. ‘You’re meant for me, to be mine. My perfect omega.’
Taeyong mewls at that and shudders when Jaehyun licks at his skin, gently biting it. All negative thoughts evaporate from his brain because he feels that sincerity, hears it in Jaehyun’s scent; he knows that alpha means what he says. ‘Alpha,’ he calls, arching his back and plastering himself on Jaehyun’s chest. ‘Yours.’
Jaehyun hums satisfyingly. ‘Mine.’ He then looks up and makes Taeyong meet his gaze. ‘Maybe I’m not good with words, but don’t ever think that I don’t want you. I’m sure in you like I’ve never been in anyone else.’
Taeyong pouts. ‘Then why did you not claim me then? Cause I want it. I’m sure and I want it.’
Alpha close this eyes at this and inhales, low growl rumbling in his chest as Taeyong presses kisses on his neck. ‘It’s for life, Taeyong. I’m older and I- I’m sure. I am sure in my forever with you. But are you?’
Taeyong huffs impatiently. ‘You’re older for few years, please. And I am sure, I said that many times. How many more incidents like the one tonight with Heechul need to happen for you to understand that your claim would-’
Jaehyun crushes their lips together. It’s burning, lights answering fire in Taeyong immediately. He willingly opens up, kisses back with as much vigor as he has, instantly giving all control to Jaehyun. Alpha taps back of his thighs two times, little sign before he steps back a little and Taeyong hops on him, smiling as Jaehyun securely holds him up in his arms. Omega can already feel his head going hazy and he whines, when Jaehyun pulls back and throws him on the bed. Taeyong jumps back on the mattress, laughs and crawls higher. Jaehyun’s eyes stay on him as alpha slowly takes off his jacket. Watching Jaehyun undress has always been hypnotizing for Taeyong - something in the slow way more and more skin gets revealed that excites him. His mate doesn’t even try to be sexy, just pulls it off but it still looks so enchanting that Taeyong can’t look away. Jaehyun notices his gaze, of course. He smirks at that and pushes his pants down, motioning for Taeyong to come closer. Omega shakes his head at that, smiling mischievously.
‘No?’ Jaehyun asks and Taeyong nods. ‘So this is how it’s going to be tonight? Alright.’
Taeyong thinks Jaehyun will crawl up to him, but instead alpha grabs his ankles and roughly pulls omega down. Taeyong yelps and immediately groans, when Jaehyun bends his knees and pushes them down, leaning closer to him. Alpha doesn’t hurry, slowly freeing omega from the clothes too until they’re both just in their underwear.
‘Is this the only reason why you want my claim?’ Jaehyun asks, tightening his grip on Taeyong’s ankles. ‘Just so other alphas won’t bother you? They can’t help themselves, I guess. After all you are the prettiest thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on.’
Taeyong swallows. He knows very well what game Jaehyun is playing and it’s dangerous - he needs to calculate all his words. ‘No,’ he answers, clearing his throat. ‘It’s not like that.’
‘I’m sure it isn’t,’ Jaehyun nods, moving his grip from ankles to Taeyong’s knees. ‘You like the attention, don’t you? And my claim will only stay in the way of getting it.’
Taeyong bite his lower lip. He does like the attention. He likes catching someone looking at him and then hastily looking away, likes watching someone rake their eyes up and down his body before scrambling to break eye contact once Taeyong catches them. But that’s it. He just likes knowing that he does attract attention, but he never wants it to go further - once someone actually gathers the courage to come to him Taeyong wants to flee as quickly as possible. Stares are harmless, but he doesn’t want anything more than that, no contact, no touches, nothing else. Taeyong doesn’t want anyone touching him in a remotely sexual way apart from Jaehyun - just the thought of someone else laying their hands on him makes him want to puke.
‘I like them watching,’ he admits quietly and shivers, when Jaehyun’s hands move to his thighs. ‘I… like the stares - fuck-’ Jaehyun slaps his inner thigh and Taeyong curses. ‘-but they can’t touch. They can just look-’
‘That’s right,’ Jaehyun interrupts, caressing place that he slapped. ‘They can just look. Only I can touch.’
‘Yeah,’ Taeyong breathes out, breathing shallowly as alpha’s hands massage his thighs coming too close to his crotch. ‘I- I want your claim so they can see- so everyone can see that all they can do is look. Because I’m taken. They can’t touch me because I’m yours.’
Jaehyun’s eyes darken and his scent grows so strong that Taeyong bares his neck on instinct, submitting. He can hear nothing but loud thrumming of his pulse in his ears and when Jaehyun finally takes of his underwear he almost shouts when hand is wrapped around his dick. Taeyong licks his lips and looks at alpha, whose hard-on presses on his thigh.
‘Wanna show off,’ he whispers, blushing as he admits this. Jaehyun’s hand stops and he arches his eyebrow, prompting omega to continue. ‘Show off that..that I’m yours. Everyone will see that you are my alpha and- ahhh.’
Jaehyun kneels beside the bed and wraps his mouth around Taeyong’s member. He swirls his tongue around the tip and pulls out. ‘And?’
This is cruel - to make Taeyong continue talking when all coherent thoughts vanished from his head. Jaehyun won’t continue if he doesn’t talk and omega whines, trying to get his mind together. ‘And I will feel secure.’ Jaehyun again goes down, this time taking more and Taeyong’s eyes close at the pleasure. ‘My god. Se-secure because I will know that you and me are- fuck yes - you and me are…for life. Forever.’
It’s obvious that Jaehyun usually is on the receiving end of blowjobs, but he does bob his head enthusiastically, makes Taeyong keen and his breath come out in short pants. Omega fists bedsheets and pulls, when Jaehyun hollows his cheeks, making these obscene noises that can drive anyone sane wild. He pulls out and wipes his mouth before crawling on top of his mate, making Taeyong look at him. There’s lust but also so much of affection and tenderness in his gaze that Taeyong wants to cry.
‘We are,’ he says, brushing their noses together. ‘You and me - we are for life. I’m not wasting this chance with you, we are for life.’
Taeyong’s smiles is watery, he feels tears well up in the corner of his eyes; his heart is ready to burst with all of the feelings. Jaehyun’s acceptance of him, his words - Taeyong blames his emotional side but he really is going to start crying in the middle of a blowjob. Jaehyun smiles back, chuckling and leaning down to kiss his eyes, collecting his tears.
‘I will claim you,’ Jaehyun says and Taeyong freezes. ‘Tonight. Will sink my teeth right here-’ he traces place of his scent glands, ‘-and will leave my claim.’ Taeyong nods, brain turning into mush. ‘Words, Taeyong.’
‘Y-yes.’ Taeyong cracks out, hands flying to get a hold on Jaehyun’s biceps. ‘Yes, Jaehyun, I want it, want you-’
It’s always different when Taeyong is not in a subspace. Everything is much more vivid, every sensation overwhelms him. He clings to alpha, while his body gets worshipped with kisses, touches and reverent whispered ‘so perfect, Taeyongie, my perfect omega’. It makes him delirious, he trashes against sheets as Jaehyun takes him into his mouth again, fingers slowly pressing in. Taeyong whines, asks alpha to hurry up and he makes grabby hands, needing to see Jaehyun’s face, to kiss him and ground himself. Jaehyun does everything he wants, already so familiar with his body that every his touch send Taeyong further into a bliss. They kiss, pant into each other’s mouth and Taeyong melts when Jaehyun confesses his love again and again.
‘Love you too,’ Taeyong mumbles, trying to keep his eyes open. ‘Love you too, Jae, so much.’
Jaehyun enters him in a one stroke, pressing to the hilt, relishing in a way Taeyong arches off the bed, moaning. He saw this so many times but still can’t get enough, still is unable to look away from the way Taeyong’s face shows his pleasure, how he vocally lets Jaehyun know that he’s feeling good. Jaehyung doesn’t think he’ll ever get enough, doesn’t even think that there is a world where Taeyong doesn’t own his heart and his everything - it’s impossible. Omega’s cries spur him on, his hips snap quicker and he leans fully, attaching his lips to Taeyong’s neck. He knows that Taeyong wants it and it makes his chest tighten from all the feelings towards his mate.
‘Jaehyunnie,’ Taeyong calls, fingers carding his hair. ‘Please.’
He turns his head to the side, baring his neck to alpha. It’s an incredible sight, one that no one can refuse and Jaehyun has always been weak for Taeyong, so he doesn’t even try to put up a fight. He noses his collarbones and goes a bit higher, his movements turning erratic as he just fucks into omega with no hold backs.
‘Taeyong,’ Jaehyun whispers into the skin, licking it. God this is everything. ‘Taeyong, baby…’
‘Love you,’ Taeyong half-whispers half-moans, wrapping arms around Jaehyun’s shoulders. ‘Do it, please, Jae.’
Taeyong doesn’t get a warning. Jaehyun just places a little kiss and then his teeth are sinking throughly into the skin and Taeyong shouts. Pain makes him shoot up, but Jaehyun’s weight holds him down and everything turns black for few seconds. Taeyong can register heavy breathing above him, Jaehyun’s teeth at his neck and a hand stroking his dick to turn attention away from the pain, but all Taeyong can feel is a rush. Something swims in his veins, wrecks his whole body and it’s over as quickly as it started, Jaehyun’s tongue lapping at the bite in attempt so soothe it. He stops his thrusts and cradles Taeyong’s head, peppering his face with little kisses. Omega registers few questions but it’s hard to answer verbally, so he just nods, closing his eyes.
‘Taeyong, look at me,’ Jaehyun pleads and with a huge effort Taeyong opens his eyes, blinking heavily. ‘Baby, you good?’
Taeyong nods, doesn’t know how to explain what he feels. He’s almost sleepy, but more like he’s high and it’s making his whole body light. He lifts his leg and digs his heel into Jaehyun’s back as a sign for alpha to continue. He’s not completely in touch and doesn’t fully feel the thrusts, but he knows it’s not going to last long and soon he’ll be back in reality. Jaehyun looks concerned and slowly starts thrusting, eyes never leaving his face. It lasts no longer than few minutes and then senses come back to Taeyong, who instantly moans at pointed thrusts at his prostate.
‘Back with me?’ Jaehyun asks, worried eyes scanning Taeyong’s face.
‘Yeah-yeah,’ Taeyong moans loudly, clutching at Jaehyun’s biceps.
They don’t last for long; soon Jaehyun is grunting above him and Taeyong groans, hiding his face in alpha’s neck. He breathes in scent that became so dear to him and clings to Jaehyun, berating heavily. He feels lips at his temple, feels them move to his forehead and then to his nose. Jaehyun quietly asks if he’s okay and Taeyong honestly doesn’t know. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly he’s feeling and his lack of answer makes alpha anxious.
‘Taeyong, if you don’t feel okay we should go to the hospital,’ he says, looking into omega’s face. ‘Baby?’
Taeyong swallows, cringing at how dry his throat is. ‘Give me water for starters.’
Jaehyun shoots up from the bed at that. Taeyong rolls to the side, climbs higher and wraps a blanket around him when alpha comes back with a bottle. Once his throat is not desert, Taeyong speaks up, trying to ease alpha’s nerves: ‘I’m fine, don’t worry. Just..a little lightheaded.’
Jaehyun doesn’t look very convinced. ‘Should I call Dr.Choi?’
Taeyong shakes his head and sighs, falling back into the pillows. ‘No. Come cuddle me and everything will pass.’
Jaehyun changes his underwear, texts someone (Taeyong is more than hundred percent sure that it’s Dr.Choi) and only then joins his mate not the bed. They quickly find comfortable position and Taeyong smiles in satisfaction, closing his eyes. Mark stings and it’s a bit painful to move shoulder from that side, but he’ll live. He can’t believe that this has happened and only Jaehyun’s strong arms around his shoulders remind him that this is very real.
‘Sleep.’ Jaehyun says, planting kiss on his head.
‘You sleep too,’ Taeyong mumbles, yawning. He covers his mouth and then cuddles closer to alpha. ‘Love you.’
‘I love you too,’ Jaehyun smiles, patting his back. ‘Now sleep.’
Taeyong yawns again, rubs his cheek on Jaehyun’s chest and falls asleep, lulled by soft breathing and familiar scent around him and with a clear understanding that he will have this - for life.
Yukhei pays for his coffee and walks out, instantly spotting Sicheng. His boyfriend was staring at the screen, checking if any information about his gate appeared or not. Dressed in simple white tee and light blue jeans, he still managed to stand out from the crowd, attracting many gazes from passing people. It baffled Yukhei how Sicheng had no idea of the effect he had on people, how his boyfriend was absolutely oblivious to any of it. Feeling his gaze, Sicheng turns around, smiling at alpha. Yukhei smiles back and he tries to make it as sincere as possible in current circumstances. Last time they were here, Yukhei was bursting with happiness, excited to finally see his boyfriend after holidays. This time though feelings are on a completely opposite spectrum. Staring at Sicheng right now brings more pain than anything else; he feels like his heart’s going to be torn apart, no matter how dramatic it sounds.
‘A good one?’ Sicheng asks, pointing at coffee in alpha’s hand.
‘Yours is better,’ Yukhei answers, making beta smile. ‘No information yet?’
‘In the next hour only,’ Sicheng says and sighs. ‘Should we go to the first floor? Everyone’s probably there.’
Everyone meant Hendery, Xiaojun, Taeyong, Jaehyun. Yukhei was rather selfish in this aspect and wanted to spend last minutes before departure alone, but he couldn’t possibly let it happen. They went down and just like they thought, everyone was waiting next to little cafe. Xiaojun was the first to spot them and started waving frantically, bringing everyone’s attention to them.
Sicheng smiles, hugging his omega friend back. Xiaojun has tears in his eyes when they pull apart and it tugs at beta’s heartstrings. He carefully wipes away these tears, smiling at his friend in effort to cheer him up. Hendery comes behind him, wrapping arms around him and affectionally nuzzling into his neck.
‘We gonna miss you so much,’ he whispers and Xiaojun nods in agreement, sniffling a bit.
‘Me too guys,’ Sicheng replies and his throat burns with effort to keep his voice from shaking. ‘You have no idea how much.’
It saddens him to no end. Sicheng obviously knew that bidding goodbyes would be painful, but he couldn’t imagine that he would want to cry like some lost five year old in a supermarket. He already feel this stupid longing and he didn’t even depart yet; hole in his chest grows more and more with each passing minute. He knows everyone’s watching and he tries to be strong, but it’s hard to not let tears out. Hendery senses his upcoming outbreak first and tightens his arms around him as Xiaojun follows suit, hugging from front. Being sandwiched by his two best friends makes Sicheng laugh, he hugs Xiaojun back and tries to discreetly wipe his tears on omega’s shoulder. God, he’s going to miss them.
‘We love you so much, Winwinnie,’ Xiaojun whispers so quietly that only Sicheng and Hendery can hear it.
‘Our precious boy,’ Hendery adds and it sends tingles down beta’s spine, images of when this was said to him last time come to his mind and he blushes, hiding his face in Xiaojun’s neck.
He feels Hendery’s lips on the side of his neck but doesn’t react on it, knowing that their affection often was shown like that. Xiaojun crushes him in a hug, but it’s the best feeling because Sicheng doesn’t know when next he’s going to feel it. They stay in this hug for what seems like forever until Xiaojun doesn’t step back, eyes red from unshed tears. Hendery also lets him go and Sicheng wobbles a bit on his feet, letting Taeyong catch him. His now ex-roommate and best friend looks sad, pouting and looking at Sicheng with puppy eyes.
‘If you forget about our weekly calls I’m gonna fly to China and kick your ass,’ Taeyong mutters, trying hard not to cry. ‘Do you hear me? I’m really gonna do it.’
Sicheng chuckles, hugging older. Taeyong grips him tight and Sicheng grips back, knowing this feeling of wanting to savor last moments. ‘I will always call, Yongie.’
‘You better!’ Taeyong lightly hits his back. ‘Or I will come after you. Don’t doubt me.’
He spent yesterday fully with Taeyong, listening to advices from the elder and giving his promises to never forget about their calls and everything. Taeyong cried his lot yesterday but right now he also looked like tears will stream from his eyes any second. Sicheng did not want this moment to be sad but guess it can’t be helped - when someone leaves it always is very sentimental.
‘You’re my number one, Sichengie. Always.' Taeyong whispers into his ear.
Sicheng bites his lip. His throat constricts with effort to speak but he can’t do it. Instead he nods and lightly pecks Taeyong's cheek. He lets go and Taeyong steps back, going to Hendery and Xiaojun who instantly hug him tight. Jaehyun steps closer next, clearing his throat. They didn’t manage to become very close, but they didn’t really need to - Sicheng thinks they understand each other and have mutual support without spending that much time together. They are past awkward stage of friendship, but not exactly on the level were physical contact comes easy - when Jaehyun opens his arms for a hug Sicheng’s eyebrows shoot up on their own accord.
‘Is it too awkward?’ Jung quickly asks, biting his lip. ‘I mean, we don’t have to-’
‘No-no, I was just surprised!’ Sicheng quickly comes closer. ‘Sorry.’
They hover around each other until Jaehyun just comes closer and hugs him, patting his back in a way that probably is meant to be reassuring. ‘Good luck. I hope everything will be great there.’ He then looks around, coughing a little as he says: ‘And, you know, if anything happens - we have our office there, you can just call me or Yukhei and we’ll push staff there to help you out, you know, with anything.’
Sicheng blinks, barely keeping his mouth shut at this. He didn’t expect anything of this sort and now his heart squeezes tightly in his chest at an obvious show of how much they care. He nods, gripping Jaehyun’s hand and he knows that alpha understood his feelings by a gentle smile. Taeyong comes to his side, Jaehyun pulls him close and they stare at him, wearing identical fond expressions. They still have time, but Sicheng thinks if they’re going to stay any more then he’ll definitely end up crying, so his friends shuffle to the exit, hugging him tight one last time. Hendery and Xiaojun promise to save up and visit him, Taeyong again reminds to call frequently and Jaehyun says a very touching: ‘We’re not very close, but please, if you really do need anything there, I want you to know that apart from Yukhei and these three, you can always call me too.’ Taeyong again jumps on Sicheng, kisses his cheeks and says that two years will pass quickly. Xiaojun is next, openly crying, gripping Sicheng so tight that he just can’t speak. While Sicheng is occupied with Xiaojun, Taeyong comes close to Hendery, watching them with fond smile.
‘I’m surprised you two also didn’t find master programs in Beijing,’ he says quietly. ‘I heard Xiaojun was trying to find a program in the same university where Sicheng goes, but he then said there weren’t any programs for you two.’
‘There were,’ Hendery replies and Taeyong’s head snaps to his side, shocked. ‘I just lied and said that we couldn’t apply because we don’t pass qualifications. Junnie trusts me, he didn’t really look at the website and admissions.’
‘What- Why?’ Taeyong asks, trying to keep his voice quiet. I thought you two love Sicheng, is on his tongue but he doesn’t say it out loud. ‘Why, Hendery?’
Hendery stares at the way Sicheng holds Xiaojun’s hand, how he wipes his tears so softly and gently that no doubt Xiaojun’s heart is breaking. But he also sees Yukhei, who’s standing a bit further from them, trying his hardest to make it look like he doesn’t mind what’s happening.
‘Why?’ He repeats and turns to Taeyong, meeting his gaze. ‘Because we need to let him go.’
He needs to let Sicheng go, Xiaojun needs to let Sicheng go. They need to close this chapter, to realize that their feelings won’t be returned. It’d be impossible to do if they also went to Beijing. They need to not have Sicheng around, to come in terms that their love for him is unrequited. Only way to do it was to lie to Junnie about admissions. Hendery does feel guilty, but once he thinks about Sicheng learning about their feelings for him, he thinks that this lie is not that bad. Sicheng will be destroyed if he learns the truth and Hendery better first die than let it happen. Taeyong’s hand on his shoulder startles him from his thoughts and he looks up, blinking. Taeyong has this small smile on his face, the one that says he knows exactly what Hendery’s thinking. It doesn’t hold pity in it, just a joined understanding.
‘You two will be alright,’ he says and it sounds more like a promise.
Hendery looks over to where Xiaojun finally released Sicheng from his arms. Junnie turns to him with watery smile and Hendery doesn’t think twice before opening his arms and letting his boyfriend fall into them. Xiaojun nuzzles into his neck and sighs, gripping him tight.
‘He really is leaving,’ he mutters.
‘I know Junnie,’ Hendery kisses his head and then repeats Taeyong’s words: ‘We will be alright.’
Xiaojun looks up and asks very quietly: ‘Should we…say? Tell the truth?’
Hendery turns and sees Sicheng in Yukhei’s arms. Sees how alpha holds him tight, how his eyes never leave Sicheng’s face. Sees love in these eyes. And no doubt Sicheng’s eyes reflect the same. ’No,’ he answers to Xiaojun, turning his attention back at him. ‘We shouldn’t.’
Omega looks dejected, but quietly accepts it. His heart is heavy with longing, with desire to not let Sicheng go, but if Hendery says that they’re going to be alright then he’ll believe him. Jaehyun says he’ll drive everyone home and with one last wave everyone goes away, leaving Yukhei and Sicheng alone.
‘Let’s go up?’ Yukhei suggests, taking beta’s hand in his. Sicheng nods and they quietly go back to the second floor. Sicheng doesn’t know what to say to fill the silence - for the first time he feels really awkward with alpha. It a weird feeling in his chest, one he can’t put into words, that nags him inside. He almost wants to turn away and run but he’s past these times when running looked to be a good option. Yukhei also says nothing, which is very unlike him - alpha always fills the space easily, confidently, but right now it’s like his light was subdued. It’s not a good look on him and Sicheng clears his throat, determined to make Yukhei smile.
‘You’re not going to also cry, right?’ He asks jokingly, lightly punching alpha in the shoulder.
‘I might,’ Yukhei answers seriously but then turns, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend. ‘I… I don’t know what to say, Sicheng.’
Sicheng bites his lip, nodding. He understands. ‘Me too.’ He admits.
‘Can I be honest?’ Alpha asks and when Sicheng nods, he says: ‘I don’t want you to go.’
Yukhei watches as milliard of emotions pass beta’s face at his confession. Sicheng doesn’t say anything at first, just stares at alpha with something akin to wonder. In honesty this confession moved beta to the core. He always has been who was afraid to lose Yukhei, his interest in him, then show as insecure. But to know now that alpha also treasured him to this point made his heart do a double flip in his chest. Sicheng doubted this decision many times; while he was giving his project to his professor and then to Minghao, while he was buying tickets and talking with his grandparents - he was doubting if he was making a right decision. Laying in Yukhei’s arms at nights, going out with his friends, on a dinner table with his parents - he was doubting if master degree was really worth giving all of this up. But then invitation from university came and doubts evaporated. With an acceptance letter in his hands Sicheng knew that at least he should try. This may not work out in the end, no one knows what’s going to happen, maybe Beijing will turn out to be a living hell for him, but the least he can do is try.
‘I have to,’ Sicheng whispers, looking at Yukhei. ‘For me.’
Alpha nods. ‘I know.’ He leans in, bringing their foreheads together. ‘It’s gonna be alright.’
Sicheng’s fingers clutch on alpha’s shirt, fisting it desperately. Tears well up in his eyes and he grits his teeth, not wanting to starts crying. ‘And us?’ He asks in a shaky voice. ‘Will we be alright?’
Yukhei leans back and his hands come up to settle on Sicheng’s cheeks, caressing them softly. ‘Beijing is two hours away. I work only five days a week. If anything, I can visit you every single week on Saturday and Sunday.’
Sicheng sniffs and Yukhei leans in, pecks his lips. Alpha doesn’t want to lie and promise stuff like ‘we will stay together no matter what’ or ‘these two years won’t change anything’. That’s not true. These two years will change everything and main change will happen with his boyfriend - Sicheng will change a lot. Living in a foreign country, going somewhere alone always changes a person, shapes them into something different. Yukhei doesn’t know what will happen, but all he knows is that right now, at this moment, his heart belongs to this boy. Will it stay like that? He doesn’t know, no one knows. But all they have is present and that’s all that counts.
‘I can only promise one thing - that I’m going to try and make this long distance relationship work,’ alpha says and Sicheng tenses in his arms before nodding. ‘That I’m not going to give up just now. That I will be honest with you.’
‘That’s enough,’ beta answers and few tears fall down right on Yukhei’s fingers on his cheeks. ‘I can’t ask for more.’
Yukhei smiles and Sicheng pouts, adorably asking for a kiss. who is Yukhei to say no to this? He leans and kisses Sicheng tenderly, pulling him as close as it’s only possible. He pours all of his feelings into this kiss, still can’t believe that he won’t be able to do so for quiet some time. He doesn’t say I love you because there’s no need in saying this when Sicheng flies away. There’ll be better time and place to say these three words, Yukhei is sure.
‘I better go,’ Sicheng says, pulling back slightly.
Yukhei can’t follow him anymore. Alpha nods, kisses him one last time and to his horror, realizes that he’s about to shed some tears. Sicheng turns and slowly goes to the passport control, standing in the queue. He turns, waves and Yukhei waves back, pulling hands in the pockets then. This could be a scene form the movie, where one of the main characters realizes their mistake and turns around, runs back into the waiting arms of another character. But this is not a movie and Sicheng doesn’t run back to Yukhei. He patiently waits in the line and turns back only when he’s next. Yukhei’s throat tightens at the mix of emotions he’s feeling. He’s staring at his boyfriend and suddenly really wishes he told him these three words before. Sicheng types something on his phone and alpha’s phone buzzes with a message.
‘I like you. Present tense.’
Yukhei chuckles and lets few tears escape from the corner of his eyes. He chews on his bottom lip and when he looks up, Sicheng is already gone, passed passport control. Yukhei wants to write his confession, but then understands that these words need to be said out loud. So instead he types out another message and then goes back to his car, wiping tears from his eyes.
Sicheng goes to his gate when his phone beeps with an answering message from alpha that makes his heart gallop in his chest.
‘I like you too, pretty. Way more than you can even imagine. Present tense.’
And no one knows what future holds, but for now - this is enough. Sicheng hides his phone in a pocket and walks towards the gates. After all - present is all we have and if in this present Yukhei is his boyfriend then that’s all that matters. All Sicheng can do is hope that in the future it will stay the same.